After the death in battle of the Portugese king Sebastian I in battle in 1578, the Portugese throne passed to the King of Spain, and thereafter Portugal and all its possessions became part of Spain, including Ceuta. In 1640 Portugal regained its independence from Spain. However, Ceuta remained under Spanish control, and has been part of Spain ever since.
Ceuta is known officially in Spanish as Ciudad Autonoma de Ceuta, the Autonomous City of Ceuta.
Ceuta is administratively part of the Cádiz province. It does not form part of the customs territory of the European Union.